America's birthplace of organized skiing is in Michigan, here's what it looks like

America's birthplace of organized skiing is in Michigan, here's what it looks like

7:29am Feb 05, 2022
A ski jumper flies overhead on the 60-meter ski jump at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 7, 2021. The Suicide Hill Ski Bowl is home to 5 ski jumps - one being the infamous 90-meter Suicide Hill Ski Jump.
A ski jumper flies overhead on the 60-meter ski jump at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 7, 2021. The Suicide Hill Ski Bowl is home to 5 ski jumps - one being the infamous 90-meter Suicide Hill Ski Jump.
Nic Antaya
  • A ski jumper flies overhead on the 60-meter ski jump at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 7, 2021. The Suicide Hill Ski Bowl is home to 5 ski jumps - one being the infamous 90-meter Suicide Hill Ski Jump.

    A ski jumper flies overhead on the 60-meter ski jump at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 7, 2021. The Suicide Hill Ski Bowl is home to 5 ski jumps - one being the infamous 90-meter Suicide Hill Ski Jump.

    Nic Antaya

  • The Jacobson family arrives at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 5, 2021. Veronica Jacobson and her husband, Ty Jacobson, met through ski jumping and now have 7 out of their 11 children competing in the sport. They travel as a family

    The Jacobson family arrives at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 5, 2021. Veronica Jacobson and her husband, Ty Jacobson, met through ski jumping and now have 7 out of their 11 children competing in the sport. They travel as a family

    Nic Antaya

  • Ski jumpers watch a competitor jump the 25-meter ski jump during the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021.

    Ski jumpers watch a competitor jump the 25-meter ski jump during the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021.

    Nic Antaya

  • The Ishpeming Ski Club has produced 13 Olympic team members, including those from the Bietila family. Paul Bietila, his portrait seen in center left of the top row was recognized as the best American jumper of his time and the Paul Bietila Memorial Trophy

    The Ishpeming Ski Club has produced 13 Olympic team members, including those from the Bietila family. Paul Bietila, his portrait seen in center left of the top row was recognized as the best American jumper of his time and the Paul Bietila Memorial Trophy

    Nic Antaya

  • Dick Ziegler, left, and Tom "Sodapop" Sodergren help maintain the ski jumping hills along with other members of the Ishpeming Ski Club.

    Dick Ziegler, left, and Tom "Sodapop" Sodergren help maintain the ski jumping hills along with other members of the Ishpeming Ski Club.

    Nic Antaya

  • Cross-country skiers slide past the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl during an Ishpeming Ski Club practice in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Many of those who ski jump also cross-country ski. The Olympic winter sport Nordic Combined integrates the two sports of

    Cross-country skiers slide past the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl during an Ishpeming Ski Club practice in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Many of those who ski jump also cross-country ski. The Olympic winter sport Nordic Combined integrates the two sports of

    Nic Antaya

  • Tim "Timo" Denisson, 72, of Cheyenne, Wyo., began ski jumping when he was 2-years-old and started to compete when he was 7. He has been active in ski jumping all his life, competing in ski jump tournaments throughout the world. He was inducted into the St

    Tim "Timo" Denisson, 72, of Cheyenne, Wyo., began ski jumping when he was 2-years-old and started to compete when he was 7. He has been active in ski jumping all his life, competing in ski jump tournaments throughout the world. He was inducted into the St

    Nic Antaya

  • Isaac Larson, 13, jumps the 40-meter hill at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 4, 2021. Larson began ski jumping when he was 8-years-old alongside his two younger brothers, Max and Jacob.

    Isaac Larson, 13, jumps the 40-meter hill at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 4, 2021. Larson began ski jumping when he was 8-years-old alongside his two younger brothers, Max and Jacob.

    Nic Antaya

  • Dick Ziegler works on the ski jumping hill at Suicide Hill Ski Bowl on March 4, 2021.

    Dick Ziegler works on the ski jumping hill at Suicide Hill Ski Bowl on March 4, 2021.

    Nic Antaya

  • Ishpeming Ski Club head coach Gary "Razz" Rasmussen started his ski jumping career at the age of 5, following the footsteps of his father, Wilbert Rasmussen, a former USA Olympic ski jumper. "There's not a sport any more extreme than ours," said Rasmussen

    Ishpeming Ski Club head coach Gary "Razz" Rasmussen started his ski jumping career at the age of 5, following the footsteps of his father, Wilbert Rasmussen, a former USA Olympic ski jumper. "There's not a sport any more extreme than ours," said Rasmussen

    Nic Antaya

  • Left: Kaija Copenhaver, 11, began ski jumping when she was 5-years-old. "One day I want to go to the Olympics and be a ski jumper and Nordic Combined athlete," Copenhaver said. Ski jumping for women in the Olympics was first introduced in 2014; Right: Isa

    Left: Kaija Copenhaver, 11, began ski jumping when she was 5-years-old. "One day I want to go to the Olympics and be a ski jumper and Nordic Combined athlete," Copenhaver said. Ski jumping for women in the Olympics was first introduced in 2014; Right: Isa

    Nic Antaya

  • A customer pays for her groceries at Jim's Jubilee Foods in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Influences of the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl can be seen throughout the town of Ishpeming, such as at the grocery store, restaurants and murals on the underpasses.

    A customer pays for her groceries at Jim's Jubilee Foods in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 3, 2021. Influences of the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl can be seen throughout the town of Ishpeming, such as at the grocery store, restaurants and murals on the underpasses.

    Nic Antaya

  • Isaac Larson, 13, stops after jumping the 40-meter hill at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021. Larson hopes to one day compete in the winter Olympics.

    Isaac Larson, 13, stops after jumping the 40-meter hill at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021. Larson hopes to one day compete in the winter Olympics.

    Nic Antaya

  • From left, Oliver Jacobson, 16, of Stillwater, Minn., Gavin Mjolsness, 14, of Itasca, Minn., Jacob Fuller, 19, of McHenry, Ill. and Gabriel Jacobson, 14, of Stillwater, Minn. prepare to jump the 60-meter hill during practice ahead of the 134th annual ski

    From left, Oliver Jacobson, 16, of Stillwater, Minn., Gavin Mjolsness, 14, of Itasca, Minn., Jacob Fuller, 19, of McHenry, Ill. and Gabriel Jacobson, 14, of Stillwater, Minn. prepare to jump the 60-meter hill during practice ahead of the 134th annual ski

    Nic Antaya

  • Judges watch as ski jumpers jump the 60-meter ski jump during the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021. Jumpers are scored based on the distance they jump as well as the style of their fligh

    Judges watch as ski jumpers jump the 60-meter ski jump during the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021. Jumpers are scored based on the distance they jump as well as the style of their fligh

    Nic Antaya

  • Cole Becker, 12, is awarded first place in his class for competing in the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021.

    Cole Becker, 12, is awarded first place in his class for competing in the 134th annual ski jumping tournament at the Suicide Hill Ski Bowl in Ishpeming, Mich. on March 6, 2021.

    Nic Antaya

Did you know there is ski jumping in Michigan?

After setting out to learn more about his home state, photographer Nic Antaya heard about a ski club in Ishpeming, Michigan, which is training a new generation of ski jumpers. He decided to document it.

More than a century ago, local businessmen and skiing enthusiasts took steps to organize the National Skiing Association in Ishpeming, Michigan. As a result, the region is credited as the birthplace of organized skiing in America, and home to the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Hall of Fame.

Ishpeming Ski Club originated in 1887, originally named the Norden Ski Club. It began its annual ski jumping tournament in 1888, with its most recent 2022 tournament concluding the 135th annual tournament.

In the early 1900s, the annual tournament would gather more than 100 competitors, with 1939 having 136 competitors at Suicide Hill. The Ishpeming Ski Club has produced many top-notch athletes, 13 of them being Olympic team members.

Without the past ski jumping elders at Suicide Hill Ski Bowl, the club would not continue onward. Community members and coaches spend countless hours volunteering to maintain the club and train the youth.

"There's not a sport any more extreme than ours," said the club's head coach, Gary "Razz" Rasmussen.

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